Creating the Business Case for Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace: LIFE at Rothstein Kass

Creating the Business Case for Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace: LIFE at Rothstein Kass

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship: Member Spotlight

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Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 9:15am

What started as one employee’s desire to have a more balanced work-life arrangement has now evolved into a strategic business initiative that helps Rothstein Kass retain top talent and develop stronger relationships with key clientele. It all began in 2007, when , a principal specializing in audit, general accounting and business advisory consulting, identified the need for an initiative focused on creating leadership opportunities for female associates. Working in accounting, a field traditionally dominated by males, Mandel noticed that the number of female accountants significantly decreased as she rose in the ranks. After attending the AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit, Mandel realized that the issues she was dealing wit were almost universal among other women in the industry. In order to create real change, Mandel had to start within her own organization.

The notion of integrating a flexible schedule in the workplace came after Mandel returned from maternity leave. Having a family made her recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, while not jeopardizing her growth within the firm. At Rothstein Kass, this flexibility is formalized in customized work arrangements available to all associates.  Employees can adjust their work schedules in order to better accommodate their hectic lives and personal needs. Customized work arrangements are a tool to attract and retain top candidates; however, Mandel realized that there was an opportunity to create a more strategic initiative that was better aligned with the company’s business goals.

And so was born the LIFE program, which stands for Leadership, Inspiration, Family and Empowerment. It began as a full-scale leadership development platform for women. Through the program, female associates have the opportunity to network and participate in professional development opportunities designed and led by people like themselves. According to Mandel, this is important because women lead differently, and LIFE raises awareness about the value of female leadership styles. Over time, the program has expanded. Today, it includes a National Office of LIFE at Rothstein Kass which creates the overarching strategic goals of the program and appoints local liaisons who tailor the program to employees’ local needs and preferences. On a regular basis, members of the national office conduct tours of the local offices in order to continually raise awareness around issues that affect female employees and the LIFE program as a whole. > Read the full blog post